Multi-frequency terminal antennas based on Artificial Magnetic Conductors

Status date

The overall objective of the present activity is to advance the European State-of-the-Art in multi-frequency mobile user terminal antenna technology.
Furthermore, the specific objective is to demonstrate by design, manufacture and test of a breadboard antenna implementing an Artificial Magnetic Conductor (AMC) ground-plane, the viability of Artificial Magnetic Conductor technology for multi-frequency mobile user terminal antennas. The design driver is the size of the antenna, especially the thickness, which should be minimized to increase the attractiveness of the design for mobile platform use.


The aim of this activity is the development of a mobile terminal antenna breadboard based on AMC structure. The antenna should be suitable for the reception of GPS-L1, GPS-L2 and Worldspace radio broadcast signals. The design driver is the size of the antenna, especially the thickness, which should be minimized. Also, the mass production of the antenna is considered in the design, to maintain the compatibility with mass production requirements.


Satellite navigation will be a standard feature in future mobile platforms, for example in automobiles. Also, satellite radio has gained popularity, especially in North America. In platform use, low profile is beneficial for aerodynamic, robustness and aesthetic appearance. On the other hand, good accuracy is mandatory in many current and potential applications of satellite navigation.

The current activity applies AMC structures as antenna ground plane in order to improve the antenna characteristics in terms of profile height and antenna efficiency. Also, due to its wide bandwidth (or: multiband operation), the antenna is capable to receive both GPS-L1 and GPS-L2 signals for enhanced accuracy, and in addition, Worldspace satellite radio broadcasting signals.


The general design consists of an AMC structure as ground plane and an antenna element on top of it. Both structures are planar, which guarantees a low profile for the overall antenna structure. The total thickness of the antenna will be in one centimetre range. The designed AMC structure is of novel design with broad bandwidth and wide incidence angle span. The antenna will be suitable for the reception of GPS-L1, GPS-L2 and Woldspace radio broadcast signals.


The activity consists of two logically separated parts. The first part concerns the theoretical study of homogenisation of AMC structures, followed by the design, manufacturing, and characterization of AMC-materials at coupon level. The second part concerns the design and manufacture of terminal antennas based on AMC structures and antenna performance evaluation, as well as the preparation of development plan to bring the antenna demonstrator to production level.

Current status

AMC structures have been designed and their functionality with sample antenna designs has been demonstrated by simulation. The manufacturing of the AMC structures has been initiated and that will be followed by the laboratory testing of AMC structures as well as AMC antenna design.